Being a mall rat in Japan

I definitely think the best shopping anywhere is outside of a mall, but I live within a 10 minutes bike ride of the largest mall in Japan (and possibly Asia, I think only recently a larger one has been built somewhere else), so it’s the closest shopping to me.

Yesterday I rode my bike there after work and decided to do a small post on shopping at AEON LakeTown.

DSC04413-001

There are three three-story sections to the mall. Mori, Kaze, and the Outlet mall section. I usually enter the Mori section (fun fact–Mori means forest). I typically immediately go to Swimmer, my favorite store in Japan.

DSC04399-001

It’s where I buy amazing things like this:

DSC04415-001 DSC04416-001

DSC02826

The other great thing about Swimmer is that it’s cheap (a rare find in Japan). Most things are under 500 yen ($5). There are Swimmers in other locations around Japan, but I think the Laketown one is the biggest. Here’s their website (only Japanese though!).

After my stop at Swimmer I went to Mister Donut, solely because I heard they were selling Hello Kitty donuts.

DSC04389-001

I had a little strawberry flavored cupcake:

DSC04382-002

And this tasty donut:

DSC04384-001 DSC04385-002

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the matcha (green tea) filling, but it was really good.

DSC04386-001

After my donut break I went to the game center.

DSC04387-001 DSC04390-001

DSC04393-001

DSC04391-001

There were actually only a few arcade-type games there. Mostly they were these claw gamey things (is there a name for them? Did I completely forget it??)

DSC04392-001

There were lots of things to win, like stuffed animals…

DSC04395-001

…or candy…

DSC04396-001

…or anime character model thingys…

DSC04398-001

…or ice cream (why not?).

DSC04397-001

After the arcade I shopped around a bit. Laketown has a ridiculous amount of clothing and accessories stores, so you’re bound to find anything you’re looking for there. But if you’re looking for fun, very Japanese things, you should go to Village Vanguard. It has plenty of Japanese character goods…

DSC04406-001 DSC04408-001 DSC04409-001 DSC04410-001

There are also a lot of other random, crazy things…

DSC04403-001

There is also manga…

DSC04404-001

More cell phone cases I’ve ever seen in one place before…

DSC04405-001

Even books on my reading level…

DSC04407-001

And strange, slightly creepy bubble bath stuff…

DSC04402-001

Of course there are tons of other great stores at the mall, so if you ever get the chance to go make sure you give yourself a few hours.

And here’s a few last tips for shopping in Japan

-Be prepared for virtually everywhere you choose to eat to have matcha flavored treats. Here’s the sign outside of Cold Stone Creamery advertising matcha ice cream, which I’m sure you won’t find at the American branch. (They kind of look like salads, don’t they?)

DSC04400-001

-When you try on clothes, you will most likely be expected to take your shoes off when you enter the dressing room. It’s not always the case, but it is the majority of the time. Basically if the dressing room has carpet or a rug you should take your shoes off. Sometimes you have to leave them outside of the door, depending on if the entire floor is carpeted or not. In the picture you can see that there’s a little bit of space for me to keep my shoes inside the dressing room.

DSC04411-001

-Be prepared for each bag you get to be taped shut by the store clerk. This can be kind of annoying and I always find myself ripping my bags open when I get home.

DSC04414-001

Lastly, here is the Laketown website, and it’s even in English! Yay!

Advertisements

5 responses to “Being a mall rat in Japan

  1. Green tea inside of a doughnut?!!! NOT OKAY!! Come back to Portland and eat REAL doughnuts with me, okay?! Also, Adam needs that elephant book…he he!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s